Stephen Fanstone: Eau Claire YMCA Youth Volunteer of the Year

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Meet Stephen Fanstone , Eau Claire YMCA’s Youth Volunteer of the Year!

What is your volunteer role at YMCA?
I volunteer with youth and children programs. This includes badminton, soccer, basketball programs and various events held at the branch. A regular shift begins with setting up all of the equipment then we warm up and move into the programmed activities to improve skills. I end class with some sort of game or activity to make sure the kids in the program have lots of fun before they leave.

What do you like about volunteering at YMCA?
I enjoy many things about volunteering, such as being able to use the skills I have acquired to help teach the kids in the program so that they improve and enjoy the activities. It’s great to see the kids’ enjoyment they get when they succeed in learning a skill. The fun, stories, and experiences I gained have helped me develop into the person I am today.

Do you have a YMCA story?
I have been involved with the YMCA ever since I can remember — beginning in daycare, moving to preschool and then finally the after school programs as a child. While I attended these programs, I was also in swmming lessons, day camps, Camp Riveredge, and Camp Chief Hector. After that, I became interested in a volunteer position. With this position I worked in youth and children programs such as badminton, basketball, soccer, and several of other smaller programs. As this continued I became trained as a staff member and worked day camps, and now currently run an adult drop in soccer program.

Why are you a volunteer?
I am a volunteer because I want to give back to the YMCA for giving me great experiences when I was younger. As well, it is tremendous fun working with the youth, children in the programs with the other volunteers and staff members. It has also allowed me to grow as a person. Overall, the experiences of volunteering has making me a better person in general.

What are your plans for the future? How has YMCA benefited you for school or your career?
Currently I am still in High School working my way to graduating and going to University, where I hope to study in the fields of business, medicine, or many other things of interest. I also have an interest in joining the military to obtain another great experience.

The YMCA has benefited me greatly in allowing me to use my volunteer time for credits, as well as the many opportunities such as the Sac Dene program that is part of the Camp Chief Hector YMCA. Lastly just overall improving me as a person and making me better for the future.